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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  February 21, 2012 2:00pm-3:00pm PST

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here. >> thanks for bringing this to our attention, david. that will do it for us. i'm dylan ratigan. we're off to kentucky after the show tonight. we'll sew you live from lexington tomorrow. "hardball" with chris matthews starts right now. wars of religion. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. leading off tonight, what is rick santorum up to? three stories tonight make you wonder whether republicans are driving themselves off a right-wing cliff. story number one. rick santorum, why is he questioning public schools, prenatal testing, contraception, president obama's theology, and bringing up jeremiah wright? "we really are a party on the
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verge of suicide against an imminently beatable president. republicans are finally starting to realize it, but i fear it may be too late." story number two. franklin graham said the islamic world says president obama as a fellow muslim and he has been favoring them over christians worldwide. my question tonight. will they ever stop saying this nonsense? story number three. republicans are about to pass a bill requiring that women get an ultrasound test before they get an abortion. will this ad to the republicans trouble with independent women? given all that, plus an improving economy with the dough touching 13,000 today, democrats are feeling pretty good about their chances come november. but as politico warned today, don't get too cocky. finally, the hell that the
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republicans negativity brings on them. we begin with howard fineman and chip saltsman. ran mike huckabee's campaign. howard, let's look at a national poll. we know they reflect the latest events, but let's look. a matchup between rick santorum and mitt romney. the latest poll. santorum, 50%. romney, 44%. looking to tuesday's arizona primary, the cnn time poll, romney, 36%, santorum, 32%. let me go to the questions. what are we looking at now going into michigan? >> what we're looking at is the possibility of rick santorum becoming the confirmed front runner if he wins michigan. i think the reason for that is that is one of mitt romney's home states.
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it's as much a home state as any. it's the place he says he learned about america and about the auto industry and the values of his family life. >> and the trees are the right height. >> and if he loses in that state to rick santorum, who was an asterisk a few months ago, that's going to make rick santorum in effect the front runner. >> ugh. let me ask you, chip. i was reading gene robinson's column this it morning. he said that mitt romney is basically having problem beating political has beens. he refers to your candidate, santorum, as a political has been. i think he's a comeback guy. i think santorum, for whatever reason, has found the sweet spot on social issues and is doing quite well beating the guy with all the good looks, all the money, the family name, the cars, the five homes, and he's
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ahead of him nationally right now. we just reported that. he's ahead of the guy who has everything including the jeans he's wearing now, rather uncomfortably. what's going on? has been beating romney. >> i think i agree with you. i don't think he's a has been. i think he's a comeback kid story. he got whieped out in pennsylvania as did a lot of republicans. but he's always been a fighter for the social issues that are important to people in our party. he's been a strong spokesman. and like i said all along, he's been the happy warrior. a lot of people are attracted to somebody who knows who he is, what he believes, and not afraid to talk about it. >> let's talk about the sweet spot. last night on fox, rick santorum brought up the reverend wright again. that old story when discussing president obama's faith. let's listen. >> he went to reverent wright's church for 20 years. it's a christian church. he goes to a christian church
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now. i'm not going to question what the president believes in, but i am going to question what he's doing in this country to drive up the cost of energy, destroy this economy, and do so with environmental radicalists. >> i'm not going to question his religion. he trashed it. he went after reverend wright. a street religion. fine. okay. he does all that. then he says, by not talking about that, let's talk about the stuff he's doing in this country. >> the maneuver that he made around the church issue was nixonian. >> i'm not one of those that believes the supreme court is hopeful. >> we have a story on "the huffington post" that digs into his background. when he first ran for congress, he did not stress religion. he did not stress the abortion issue. this may have been
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privately-held believes. they probably were, but they are not anything he dare talk about. but over the years, he's taking on the ora of a crusader. his people think by sticking to his guns the way he has on these issues, by making these statements, he's impressing the republican base with his sincerity and his passion. i'm not saying he's fake. he's unpacked what's inside. >> unpack what's inside. chip, from the first time i heard about this guy running in congress and using the residence issue saying he was living in virginia and knocking him off with that charge. he was a right to lifer to the core. this was a big part of his motive. here's a guy who keeps hitting the political sweet spot. even contraception. issues that go way back to the '50s and '60s. is it a coincidence that what he
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believes, this old church philosophy is working for him? or is he missing a point? is he smart to keep hitting these points over and over again? contraception, questioning women's role in the world. working outside the home. going back to the old varyties. are they winners or mistakes? >> it's a double-edged sword. that's where he's most comfortable. there's a big part of our primary people listening to that and cheering him on. it's his comfort zone. >> that women should l stay home. how is that? women shouldn't be going into the workplace to win the prizes they don't need because basically they are needed at home. that kind of an argument, is that something that wins or what? i don't think it does. >> i don't think it wins long-term. most people in this country are worried about jobs in the economy. we have seen every poll say that. we have to build on the good economic news. if rick santorum is going to be successful, he needs to focus on
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his blue collar background. >> how many people have daughters in their 20s thinking some guy is going to take care of them some day? they don't have to have a career or work. that's kind of ridiculous today. >> to be blunt about it, in the republican primaries and caucuses, rick santorum isn't worried about that. he's worried about getting evangelicals and conservative catholics, male and female. he's worried about blue collar workers. if he gets to the general election, women who would be insulted by that were never going to vote for him any way. i think he's miscalculating. i think a lot of conservative women in the republican party are not going to go for a guy who questions contraception, who questions women's role in the workplace, it's just too antique, aggressively retroactive a notion to sell even to moderate republican women in the general election. >> you know, the slogan of this
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network is leaning forward. it seems like his is lean back ward. chip? is that a winner? lean backward? it may not be a winner for him. >> i'm certainly on your show, and i think you're a big winner. i think it works for you. >> you'll be back. you'll be back a lot now. >> rick santorum to be successful long-term has to move you on that. howard is right. the blue-collar issues that he can articulate because he's from a midwest-type state, he can be successful on those issues. he has a strong manufacturing plan. that's what he needs to hit on in michigan in the closing week. >> you know who is afraid of him? it's mitt romney and his new friend dr. ron paul. his new bromance brother. taking on the new front runner,
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rick santorum. maybe at the behest of his bromance buddy. dr. paul trashing rick santorum. >> is this dude serious? really? santorum voted to raise the debt ceiling five times i. double the size of the the department of education. then supported the biggest entitlement expansion since the '60s. santorum voted to send billions of our tax dollars to dictators in north korea and egypt and hooked planned parenthood up with a few million bucks. rick santorum a fiscal conservative? fake. i'm ron paul and i approve this message. >> why is he attacking his other opponents, not groovy. is this a deal with romney to trash the guy challenging romney? >> i think from the very beginning, and maybe it's a wish rather than a plan, is to knock out all the other foes of mitt
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romney and have him be the last man standing. but it's too late for that. what he's up to now is being head of the fed. >> that's what i was thinking. he gets bernanke's job. the last head of the fed. what is he up to on the libertarian side? it's aimed at young people. maybe young people from the '60s. i mean, he said every word but neat. what's going on with this ad of his? >> i think dr. paul is in delegate collection mode. he's trying to get as many delegates as he can to take to tampa. see what happens when he gets there. if he continues this path, he'll probably get a spot. >> so this is 20 minutes of prime time. thank you very much. howard fineman, thank you. it's a big lie the right wing refuses to let go. franklin graham. son of billy graham. again questioning whether
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president obama really is a christian saying his policies favor muslims and throwing in the fact that muslims think he's a fellow muslim. what is this about? you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. the past is a powerful t. but we couldn't simply repeat history. we had to create it. introducing the 2013 lexus gs, with leading-edge safety technology, like available blind spot monitor... [ tires screech ] ...night view... and heads-up display. [ engine revving ] the all-new 2013 lexus gs. there's no going back. oh! [ baby crying ] ♪ what started as a whisper ♪ every day, millions of people choose to do the right thing.
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♪ slowly turned to a scream ♪ there's an insurance company that does that, too. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? ♪ amen, omen rick santorum and mitt romney continue to fight it out for the nomination. we're talking about that tonight. what a new survey of registered republicans and independent voters asked who should be the vice presidential running mate? topping the list is marco rooub. he got 66 mentions the most in the survey. placing second is rick santorum, proving if you can't beat them, you'll have to join them. and third is chris christie. rounding out the last, sarah palin and newt gingrich. i don't think so. we tried that one before. we'll be right back. we've got more than 100 years worth of energy, right here. [announcer:] who's right? they all are. visit powerincooperation.com.
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welcome back to "hardball." the cultural right can't stop questioning president obama's
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religion. reverend franklin graham, son of billy graham, appeared on "morning joe" and refused to say president obama is a christian. but went further than that one. let's watch. >> you have to ask him. i can not answer that question for anybody. i'm a sinner and god has forgiven me of my sins because i put my trust in jesus crist. >> emma wegner and political analyst john heilemann joins us. i want to start with john. you were tough this morning. i liked it looking at the tapes of it. let me ask you this. i have things he said today that bug me after sorting through the trash of some of the stuff he said. it really bothers me. but i want to know what bothers you the most about what he said this morning. >> chris, how do i count the ways? the thing that i called him out on today was for a double standard and being hypocrite
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call. we had the byte where he said "i can't answer this question for anyone." but he did answer. he said absolutely if rick santorum was a christian. he said, he told me so. about newt gingrich, he said yes. he goes to church. and when it came to president obama, that was the only person who he couldn't affirm on the basis of the president's statements. >> why do you think he said that? >> i think he has some doubt about the question. number one, he's clearly unconvinced for a variety of reasons. today he said that he thought president obama took up christianity for political reasons. i think there's also been a concerted effort among some on the right to advance this narrative about the president. he advanced it even further by talking about the president's pro-muslim policies around the
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world saying that the muslim faith might still claim president obama as one of their members, although he's never been one of their members. >> we just checked that out. even with a muslim father, it doesn't make you a muslim. a person has to make an active choice to become a muslim. here's "morning joe"'s willie geist. let's listen to that point that got to me. let's listen. >> under islamic law, islam cease him as a son of islam because his father was a muslim. under islamic law, the muslim world sees barack obama as a muslim, as a son of islam. that's just the way it works. that's the way they see him. but he says he didn't grow up that way. he didn't believe in that. he believes in jesus christ. i accept that. but the muslim world, the muslim world, islam, they see him as a
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son of islam. >> be you do not believe he's a son of muslim? >> i can't say categorically. >> this is where it gets to me, alex. what this guy is planning is that same old seed that it the right wing has been planting about our president, and he is our president. from the first time he emerged as a a national figure. that he's foreign, exotic, not one of us, not patriotic, he's loyal to other people. he went on to say he's backing the muslim world against the christians. even though he's killing bin laden and doubling the number of troops in afghanistan and all that good stuff working with the special forces. no matter what this man does for this kocountry, they still wanto write him out as not one of us. your thoughts? >> i'm surprised he didn't keep saying barack hew sane obama. the point was to string together, son of islam and barack obama.
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these are conservative dog whistles. they are an effort to paint him as an islamic figure whose presidency is illegitimate. it's fear mongering as well. since when did it become so bad to be a muslim in this country president bush setting aside the fact that he isn't? he's a christian. there's so much to unpack. the main point is it's an effort to fear monger around the president, his religion, and his citizenship. >> here's frank graham saying his policies favor muslims. let's watch this. >> islam has gotten a free pass under obama. islamists are taking control of the middle east. people like mubarak, who was a dictator but kept the peace in the minorities, the christian minorities were protected. now those christian minorities
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are under attack. in an article last week, it was the massacre of the christians of the islamic world from europe through the middle east into africa. muslims are killing christians. and we need to be forcing and the the president can come out and make a statement demanding that if these countries do not protect the minorities, no more foreign aid from the united states. >> i'm all for him on that point because he's saying we should protect christians. fair enough. that was a good point. john, when he went beyond that and said the president is his motive here and not acting and doing what he ought to be doing, he sides with the islamists and brotherhood. he wanted to overthrow mubarak. that he's part of the enemy attacking the west. with the evidence of being raised by a white family, the
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way he was raised, where's the evidence of loyalty to the isl m islamists world? >> it's sinister what he e did there. he's say iing that the muslim world calls barack obama its own. then by saying that the muslim world is slaughtering christians around the world due to president obama's inaction, he's trying to say that president obama is in some way implicated in a direct way in the slaughter of christians around the world. talk about a dog whistle. that's a horse whistle. that's on top of the mountain top and screaming out as directly as you can. it's mendacious and pernicious. it's not based on any evidence. i think it's also dangerous and obviously wrong. >> here's another shot across the bell against another candidate for president. alex, you asked graham about mitt romney's faith. let's watch this response.
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>> what about mitt romney? >> i like him. >> is he a christian? >> he's a mormon. >> but he said he's part of the christian faith. >> most christians would not recognize mormonism as part of the christian faith. >> so he's not a christian. >> i'm saying most christians would not recognize mormonism. >> a majority of americans do recognize mormonism as part of the christian world. his definition, fair enough, it's his definition. i think he does have some wiggle room because it's his definition. he means fundamentalists. he doesn't include mainstream churches. he doesn't include lutherans. he includes his notion of born-again fundamentalists. that group of white evangelical, basically baptist people. that group does not accept mormonism. but that's his way of talking. >> sure.
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if you become a christian apparently after you have been work i working as a community organizer on the south side of chicago, that's not a valid form either. it's no surprise, i think, that he sort of distinguished his own christian theology from that of mitt romney's. there are differing tenants. this is not a good thing for mitt romney who tried to underscore the linkages between that of mormonism. i think it's very telling that of all the candidates who could talk about religious persecution, mormonism faces uphill battles in terms of being accepted in this country. mitt romney has been uncomfortably silent on the issue. >> i think we should stop inviting this guy to talk about politics. he should stay out of the public square. he's got his own little thing and he ain't his father's son. i don't believe in some magical
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projection of blood that makes him a second billy graham. talk about the religion coming through the father. it ain't done too good a job with him. thank you alex wagner. thank you, john heilemann. there's four candidates in the race. a famous comedy trio, which ones do you think that might be? you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. [ male announcer ] we know you don't wait until the end of the quarter to think about your money...
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back to "hardball." now for the sideshow. thank your lucky stars. that's not what a lot of republican voters are thinking when they think of the choices for the presidential candidates. for those in the comedy circuit, it's pure gold. hollywood veteran steinberg who
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directed "seinfeld." appeared with steve carr rel last night. what trio does he think has a place in presidential politics? >> this is a gift from god to comedians from the likes of which. it will be a ship of fools that is unbelievable. i used to have a theory i took almost through all the presidencies. it's like the three stooges. you're either a moe, who is in charge, or a larry who wants to be a moe, or you're curly who is nuts and totally just off the page. this is all curlies. >> think about it. it's a bad sign when being compared to larry or moe of the three stooges. it would be a step up for a candidate. next up, it's comparisons like that that has some people thinking isn't there anyone else out there? mitch daniels is one of the names that's floated as a late
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entry to the republican race. any chance he's reconsider after choosing not to take the plunge? here's what he told reporters in his home state yesterday. >> i would like to participate. i'd like to help fashion a winning race. it's very unlikely to happen. my advice would be let's find somebody else. >> daniels says his phone is still ringing. he says he's aware of the noise out there, but he remains a nirm no on the question of running this year. and finally, playing to the crowd at one of the latest lines of attack against president obama. the republican candidates have taken on high gas prices and energy policy. during a speech in oklahoma yesterday, newt gingrich related the president's push for electric cars to get this, an anti-american agenda. let's listen.
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>> the obama administration is dedicated to an anti-american policy. this is not an accident. the president said you ought to buy smaller cars. now, let me start with a simple premise that most oklahomaens will understand. you cannot put a gun rack in a volt. >> what a stupid comment. a spokesman for them had some choice words. "fuel efficiency, not the availability of a gun rack, is one of the top purchase considerations for all new vehicles. if accessories are that important to newt gingrich, we'll send him a product brochure." . there's a reason why this jab seems desperate. the auto industry is shaping up to be a cornerstone of the
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president's push for reelection. that one is more important than the talking point you just heard. up next, republicans are about to pass a bill requiring that women seeking an abortion get an ultrasound first. republicans are fighting the culture wars and it may cost them independent women voters come november. they decide the election. you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. [ coughs ]
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higher than estimates, but earnings fell short. and johnson & johnson's ceo is stepping down. that will do it from cnbc. first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." right next door to here in virginia, nearly 1,200 protesters descended on the state capital to protest legislation working its way to the governor that would require a woman to get an ultrasound before having an abortion. legally requiring an ultrasound violates the doctor/patient relationship. the ultrasound is a tool for informed consent before having an abortion. virginia is now the focus of this fight and could join seven other states at least where women are already legally required to have an ultrasound
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before an abortion. texas, law there states the provider must describe the image. in virginia, the bill as written now would require the ultrasound be done, but not that the woman view it. coming on the heels on access to contraception, is the virginia fight another example of the placing undue burden on women's care. margeny denifeld joins us. cynthia, you go first. what's wrong with this legislation requiring an ultrasound before an abortion? >> everything, chris. republicans have been bludgeoning the administration with government intrusiveness. the affordable care act is supposed to be so intrusive. what is more intrusive than m
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mandating a medical procedure for a woman? one that is not medically e necessary? what is more intrusive of government than getting in the relationship between a woman and her doctor? i can't imagine an episode of greater government overreach than that. >> margery, your thoughts about why it would be important for the legislature to require this ultrasound before an abortion? >> this is a matter of giving a woman more information that she needs to make a decision that's fully informed. listen. these ultrasounds are standard procedure. planned parenthood's hotline in virginia says that as well. all that is involved here is saying that 24 hours ahead of time, that that ultrasound be available and offered to the woman. >> i thought the law said they have to have it. >> the information. you have to have the ultrasound,
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yes. it's not true that there's no medical value in it. >> just so the person watching the show understands the issue here. is the issue whether this is required by law or not? >> this is required by law. >> if you win. >> that is right. if we win. and the actual image is offered to the woman. she doesn't have to look at it. it's not true there's no medical necessity. that's why it's a standard procedure. >> what's the medical advantage of having an ultrasound? >> women have died and had all sorts of complications from abortions when the jes talgs age was not determined. >> hang on a minute. if in fact planned parenthood already does this, why is the law necessary? if a doctor believes that the procedure is medically necessary, a doctor will do it. >> because a woman deserves to see it.
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>> but if it is not medically necessary, the government has no business telling a doctor he or she must perform this intrusive procedure when it's not medically necessary. >> the information is vital. there are other standard procedures required by government. this one is certainly vital for her health and her fully-informed decision. >> i'm not going to take cynthia's side, although i agree this should be a concern that people should have. there ought to be an ownous on the ones that want the law. a woman decides to have an abortion. she makes the decision. it's legal. under the law in the first trimester. why should you get in the way of that decision once she's made that decision? why should she be required to jump through hoops to do it? >> the reason the majority of women in virginia and across the country support this is that they believe in that vulnerable spot in a difficult place, that
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more information is better. and making -- one decision is a medical decision. one is about the contentious difficult decision about what's happening in an abortion. an ultrasound speaks to that. it's science. it's a scientific opinion backing up a medical reality. >> what percentage of women decide not to have an abortion after seeing an ultrasound? >> why are you pushing the bill then? >> i understand that women -- i know that women think they should have that information. if they want the information, they should have it. >> if women thought -- >> they are in a difficult spot. listen. they get all kinds of other information about every other aspect of everything that's going to happen in a procedure. this is arguably another human being. >> do you think abortion should be outlawed? >> of course, i do.
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it's another human being. but that's not what we're talking about here. >> is this another way of beginning the process of outlawing it? >> this truly is about giving a woman a fully-informed decision about what's actually going on. >> cynthia, last thought here. i want to move on to a larger question on women's health. what do you think this means, cynthia? that this is being pushed. >> it's harassment. it's harassment because the groups who are pushing this don't want women to have the right to decide. it's extremely condescending to suggest that women have not thought deeply about this. prayed about it, talked to family. if they wanted more information, they could certainly ask the doctor for it. >> why should an abortionist in the first place do it? why should information that he's going to get not be offered to the woman? that's all that's happening in
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virginia. >> let me ask you a question. the insurance companies are required to carry without co-pay coverage for birth control. isn't that going to radically reduce the number of abortions in this country? birth control? the fact that poor women, working women will get it free. they will be inclined to provide themselves with birth control and avoid abortions? >> regardless of the answer to that question, the ends don't justify the means. this is actually what this presidential debate, this is what this freedom of information is about. it's about freedom. and for -- >> so radically reducing the number of abortions in this country is not a good end? >> of course, it's a good end. >> it could be achieved by birth control. >> but a mandate to require abortions? >> the availability at no cost will encourage women to use it. it would seem to me because it's free and made available in their insurance programs. won't that radically reduce the number of abortions? >> no. look. 100% access is what women have
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now. requiring -- mandating that on individuals that don't believe in abortion causing drugs is a restriction of religious liberty and should not be about it. that's what we're talking about. . >> cynthia, thank you for your knowledge and passion as always. marjorie, thank you for coming on. up next, everything is going well for president obama and the democrats. right? not so fast. just when you think everything is cool, check that gas pump. we have reasons why this election could be very tricky for the democrats just because the economy and the impact of gasoline prices going up. this is "hardball" on msnbc. [ male announcer ] drinking a smoothie with no vegetable nutrition?
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because you never know what lies around the corner. to learn more, visit libertymutual.com today. things are looking pretty good for president obama right now. but we're coming back with a couple reasons why democrats shouldn't count their chickens before they are hatched. "hardball" back after this. [ male announcer ] imagine facing the day
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including those for migraine and while on cymbalta, call right away if you have high fever, confusion and stiff muscles or serious allergic skin reactions like blisters, peeling rash, hives, or mouth sores to address possible life-threatening conditions. talk about your alcohol use, liver disease and before you reduce or stop cymbalta. dizziness or fainting may occur upon standing. ask your doctor about cymbalta. imagine you with less pain. cymbalta can help. go to cymbalta.com to learn about a free trial offer. we're back. last but not least, there's no doubt democrats delight in watching the republican fight in the race for the republican
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nomination. when you couple that with the climbing stock market almost at 13,000, and lower unemployment rate, it looks pretty good for the people in the white house. but not so fast. here's a politico headline out today. democrats warn. let's not get cocky. jonathan martin works for politico. i hate to waste heavy weights like you guys. you are the best. i listen to you guys all the time. i learn constantly. i mean it. i'm going to prove you wrong. let's get to this. a lot of good things going on. we have the stock market going up. what is the thing if you're sitting in the white house, you're david plouffe, the smartest guy on earth we're told, who the president looks up to. what's he most worried about
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between now and november, chris? >> the economy. chris, this has been probably the best three months of the obama presidencymonths, since the first three months to of the obama presidency in 2009, but the economy is this thing that -- if you ask david plouffe, if you ask barack obama, candidly, they would admit they don't have that much control over how it turns out. so, he is worried, look have we had a couple good months? absolutely. if we have a couple bad months, now all of a sudden, this energy, this excitement this feeling that things are turning around, now it looks like, well, had double dip, things not getting better. so he can't -- i think it is the hardest thing too, chris, it is something that could change the electoral dynamic and something that everyone recognizes you probably can't control. >> so, what's it -- what number does it come down to jonathan? is it the number of the unemployment rate, the last report we get in october, which is the october number, right on the weekend that friday right before the election, that october number better be around 8, is that what it comes down to
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the growth rate better damn well be around three, not two? what are they looking at, the real smart guys, as i said the powers on their head, the white house, what are they looking at? >> i think they are looking for trends, i think it is not just that final number there the first friday in november. it is going to be -- i'm sorry, in october it is going tonight trend over a period of months. summer into the fall, is the unemployment rate steadily falling? if that's the case, if there's real, real strong campaign to make, that things are turning around, i think they are going to be in better shape. if i could add one other dynamic here, chris, now we are talking about spread sheets and we are getting wonky into the weeds here, that is not just unemployment, but looking at demographics. uneducated -- 'cause our noncollege educated white voters, what are they doing? can -- can obama get a certain threshold? doesn't have to be a majority, can reach a certain threshold of noncollege-educated whites?
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if that's the case, he has got a good shot to win re-election. that is the vital importance of one person, bill clinton, probably you in the end and joe biden? >> because you are going to see clinton and biden spending a lot of time in places like pennsylvania, ohio, wisconsin, absolutely. >> and let me add, chris -- >> look at the internals, this big thing we are all worried about europe, but the greek deal looks like it is going through that is solid. we are worried about the straits of hormuz, israel attacking iran, not attacking, whatever, what the iranians might do about it. what is the big explosive convenient that could drive unemployment back up to 9, chris? >> well, i don't know if it is an event. i think gas prices are -- certainly, look, republicans are look for something at the moment because if -- they have premised the entire time of their attack against the obama presidency on the economy this is a guy who doesn't know how to make the economy work it is the famous mitt romney line, he has never signed the front of a check, he has only signed the back of one. if the economy starts getting better it is tough. i would say gas prices, because
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it's so personal, chris. you know the issues that i think really hit home and are persuadable for voters, when you go and fill up -- i went and filled up my gas tank yesterday, it was $52 that is $8, $10 maybe more dollars than it normally is that is a potential problem because it is so very personal. my guess is that is what republicans latch onto. >> can he get wasn't on gas prices alone, jonathan? >> if -- yeah, look. if you're seeing gas prices up to about five bucks a gallon, the stock market being at 13,000, unemploymenttill matter but folks are feeling it in their pocketbook once every couple of days from going to the tank and spending $60, $70, it is going to be harder sell. >> store, is all about -- it is about iran, still about europe it is about gas prices. in the end it is about the unemployment rate and of course it is about the demographic figures? got it all to worry b thank you, jonathan martin, thank you, chris cillizza. we don't have propellers on our
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head. when we return, let me finish with the toxic pollution from the republicans who want to be president. this is a smeared up campaign, nobody is looking good. this is not a good environment for republicans to have their convention or a nominee. you are watching "hardball," only on msnbc. hello, how can i deliver world-class service for you today ? we gave people right off the street a script and had them read it. no, sorry, i can't help you with that. i'm not authorized to access that transaction. that's not in our policy. i will transfer you now. my supervisor is currently not available. would you like to hold ? that department is currently closed. have i helped you with everything you needed ?
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let me finish tonight with this. do you know what a brown field is? it is left when an old factory is torn down, the land has been torn up, beaten up, burned into the soil from a long period of
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having giant furnaces and factories spewing soot and heating up the ground. it's where hazardous waste and pollution has beaten up the land. well, the reason i mention a brown field is because this is what the republican party's becoming, a land that has been contaminated by too much soot in the air, by the dumping of endless hazardous waste. night after night, day after day the air waves are filled with this lethal, nasty demolition of one republican by another. romney's the worst of him, he and his super pacs, he has dumped so much hazardous material on his rivals it would take a 21st century super fund to clean it up. try watching television in michigan today. you can't escape the contamination. it is everywhere you go. and what will be the cost? well that will be the deterioration and the desire of millions of regular republicans to become involved in this process. people don't like getting dirty or living in an environment that's been contaminated and is covered in hazardous waste. romney, again, is the worst and he, ironically, could end up paying the most for this contamination. if the normal voters turned off
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by the foulness in the air, the only people that show up to vote will be the wild one, most primitive of passions, people out to vote with a hatred so deep they can't live with themselves without pulling the lever against what is bothering them the most about the timers this forced to live in. no matter which republican survives living in this brown field he will carry with him the polluted, beaten down tarred look the stricken earth this republican campaign fighting field has become. having spent a year or more in this place of televised horror and on the ground nastiness, he will look like a survivor from some factory disaster, a fugitive from an industrial horror movie, a joker cackling that life has been good to him, but who no one else can imagine wanting to be in the same room with, let alone want to pick and then watch for four years as their president. well, that's "hardball" f >> welcome to

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